Put those feet on the rock

Adapted from the Christian Science Sentinel

There were times when I would be aghast. There were times when I would marvel. A friend's husband was a building contractor. More than once when the opportunity arose, he would sell their current house as is, often fully furnished.

Sometimes such a sale would take my friend completely by surprise. But by the time I met her, she dealt with this situation calmly. She knew how to buy and replace the new furnishings she wanted. And as far as I could tell over several years, it did not stress her.

When I would ask my friend about this, she would laugh and say that you just have to learn what's important.

For most of us, stability is important. People are not thrilled by change. Even if it is good, change challenges many of us.

So the question comes up, "When life can change dramatically so many times, where do we find stability?"

I remember my reaction after experiencing my first mild but very noticeable earthquake. I thought, If I can't even trust the earth to be still, I'm going to have to put all my trust in God. I took this point seriously, and I began studying the book of Psalms. This quickly turned me in the right direction. Here's one verse among several that helped right away: "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings" (40:2).

Even in the swirl of change, there is a constant. No matter what happens on the human scene, we have a spiritual, divine connection with God, who is supreme Truth and Love. When we are conscious of this spiritual link, change can swirl all it wants. We still know that all is well and all will be well. Our life isn't fragile or vulnerable. It is in the caring and strong hands of our Father-Mother God. To me, this understanding is the rock. This is the foundation I need when I am undergoing unexpected changes. I've been learning to lean on God, to trust the fact that He is in control.

There can be something mesmeric about change, though. If we are not alert, we can find ourselves riveted on the disruption. When we do that, frayed tempers, resentment, confusion, and self-pity invade our lives. Soon, we find ourselves in that "horrible pit" the Psalmist referred to. The escape out of the pit, however, can be fast. The moment we turn back to God and acknowledge His presence; the moment we admit that our life is in the hands of divine intelligence; the instant we start to insist that this intelligence governs every phase of our life, we can recover a sense of order and calm, along with an expectancy of good.

But I've noticed that it doesn't help to go to God in a spirit of complaint. When we talk to God about the injustice done to us, the unfairness, the stress, and how impossible everything is, this is not actually praying. It's only complaining. We need to realize that complaint is actually like a shovel. Every time we complain, we are digging our "horrible pit" deeper. It takes spiritual strength to stop the digging. But common sense tells us that the sooner we stop digging, the better!

Effective prayer begins by acknowledging a key fact that Jesus taught: God is present with us, and our life is under His jurisdiction, which is another way of saying, "The kingdom of God is at hand" (Mark 1:15).

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered the Science by which Jesus healed, oversaw enormous changes, as she founded and developed the Church of Christ, Scientist. Many people around her struggled at times with these changes, and in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" she made an important point in reference to God as the one infinite Mind or intelligence, which I'm sure helped many of them and is a great help today: "The real jurisdiction of the world is in Mind, controlling every effect and recognizing all causation as vested in divine Mind" (page 379).

If we can admit this point to ourselves, and hold on to our acknowledgment of its truthfulness, we will find more and more that we can deal with change calmly. And because something that we understand spiritually includes its appearance in daily life, we'll see more order than confusion. We'll see the impact of divine intelligence on our life. No matter how much the external things change, we can be ever more certain that one thing can't change - the presence of God in our life and the blessings that flow from this reality.

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